Visitor Question

Coach’s liability if parent decides to return child to the game after injury?

Submitted By: Jennifer (Murrieta, CA, USA)

If a child is injured during a sport (ex. hit their head during flag football), and the parent decides he is fine to return to the game, can he later deny this and sue the coach and school? Is there a liability form the coach can have the parent sign when they want to return the child to the game after an injury?

Thanks for any information you can give about this scenario and avoiding liability.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a localĀ attorney.

Answer

Dear Jennifer,

Jennifer (Murrieta, CA, USA:

In most cases involving school sports, a parent “assumes the risk” that his or her child may be injured while engaging in the sporting activity. No one forces parents to permit their children to engage in sports. Any “reasonable” parent should know that sports, especially flag football, can and often do result in injuries. That’s just part of the sport.

While parents are said to assume the risk, coaches may be liable for injuries sustained by a child. When it come to sports injuries, coaches are held to a higher “standard of care” than are parents.

Coaches should never permit a child who sustained a head injury, no matter how apparently minor, back into the game. However minor the injury appears, head injuries can be quite serious, and can even be life-threatening.

Hopefully, the child has not suffered head trauma. If so, go directly to a personal injury attorney. Try to find one or more with experience in school injury cases.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 12, 2014

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